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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Dec 8, 2010 9:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: First TOO (Referenced in PL/BW Interview Below)

A little ways down, Cliff has posted a really interesting, wide-ranging interview from fall '95 with Phil and Bob.

One of the many performances referenced in the article is the first TOO, in late '67, and coincidentally, I had just listened a day or two ago to the show I think they were talking about, so of course that aspect of the interview jumped out at me.

I think it's a heck of a hot show, but I'm not super knowledgeable and would be curious to hear thoughts from folks who have done way more comparative listening than me. (Also, I THINK it's the first TOO, but I could be wrong.)

One thing that struck me, honestly, is that the first lyrics are historically interesting, but kinda dumb and dated (cough cough) in a way that the final lyrics aren't. The final version obviously catches the flavor of the 60s, yet manages to be so brilliantly timeless.

So as I listened, I was wondering whether TOO would have become such a long-lasting powerhouse with these early lyrics, and to what extent lyrics effect a song's ultimate lasting-ness ... No way to know, of course, and TOO is just so terrific in so many ways. Anyway, here's one link to go with the interview:


http://www.archive.org/details/gd67-10-22.sbd.miller.18101.sbeok.shnf

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-12-09 05:31:26

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-12-09 05:50:50

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Dec 9, 2010 11:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (Referenced in PL/BW Interview Below)

Thank God Bobby found the right words . Those would have gotten old quickly . Score one big one for Bobby !
However , the music kicks butt , esp. the Cryptical following TOO . One of the better one's I've ever heard .

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Poster: Rueben Finklestein Date: Dec 9, 2010 12:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (Referenced in PL/BW Interview Below)

I remember another version, maybe from early '68? I wish I could remember the lyrics but it was closer to the TOO that lasted, but still words were difffernt. Something about "I woke up this morning, my head was ...." I am sure one of the saavier folks will recall what I am getting at. I always thought they locked the lyrics after Neal died, but that is my convoluted conjecture.

I wonder how many early versions there are floating around there...

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Poster: cousinkix1953 Date: Dec 9, 2010 5:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (Referenced in PL/BW Interview Below)

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-01-17.sbd.cotsman.11795.shnf

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-01-22.sbd.miller.97342.sbeok.flac16

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-01-23.sbd.finney.4528.shnf

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-02-02.sbd.jools.20299.sbeok.shnf

And finally the version you know

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-02-03.sbd.abe.4989.sbeok.shnf



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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Dec 9, 2010 8:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (So much for a myth!)

Very interesting. The archives, then, blow a myth to pieces! Bob's memory doesn't hold up against the evidence, either, it seems.

In the liner notes to RT vol 2 no 2 (2/14/68), Blair Jackson tells the same story that Bob gives in the '95 interview: that the final version, with cowboy Neal at the wheel, came to Bob on the very night that Neal died in an unearthly moment of synchronicity.

"Unbeknownst to Bob," read the liner notes, "the very day he wrote the new verse, Neal Cassady died outside of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, collapsing as he walked along some railroad tracks."

That's the story in the '95 interview, too, so I guess Bob believes it and has been telling it for years.

Yet clearly 1/23 includes the Neal section, along with a rewritten version of the lyrics that Bob had in October '67, lamenting his problems with his unattached head: (On 1/23, it seems to go: "When I woke up this morning, my head was not in sight / I'd have asked the walls about it, but they vanished overnight.") It's the Spanish Lady part he didn't have yet.

Which is the part he says he DID have. (Bob, quoted in the RT notes: "The first verse felt finished -- the 'Spanish Lady' verse -- but I wasn't happy with the second verse. Anyway, I was alone in my hotel room with a guitar, thinking about things, just kind of drifting, I think, and a new second verse came to me -- it just came out and I wrote it down, and I could tell it was right.") Supposedly, they then played it. Right in synch, unknowingly, with Neal's passing.

Yet by 2/3/68, the day BEFORE Neal died, they do seem to perform the whole thing. Though with some muffed lines.

So if the dates on the shows are right, so much for a great story! Good example of the inaccuracies of memory, too ...






This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-12-10 04:35:04

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Poster: cousinkix1953 Date: Dec 9, 2010 9:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (So much for a myth!)

"Spanish lady come to me, she lays on me this rose.
It rainbow spirals round and round,
It trembles and explodes
It left a smoking crater of my mind,
I like to blow away.
But the heat came round and busted me
For smilin on a cloudy day."

Adopted on 2/3/68. Weir said that these final lyrics were about an incident, where he got busted for throwing water balloons at the fuzz in front of the house at 710 Ashbury in 1967.

"Escapin' through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That's when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land."

The second verse was finished weeks before the first. It was written about time that Neal Cassady died trying to count railroad track ties on a long walk in 1967...





This post was modified by cousinkix1953 on 2010-12-10 05:01:00

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Dec 9, 2010 9:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (So much for a myth!)

Ah, but no! Neal Cassady died on Feb 4, 1968. So the cowboy Neal lyrics were written before he died, cuz we clearly hear them on 1/23/68. (Maybe other dates on your list, too. I'm really curious now, and will definitely check later!)

The last (eg the Neal lyrics) were indeed written before the Spanish Lady ones ... but that's (a) not what Bob thought happened, and (b) they were written and performed before Neal died.

Btw, he wasn't counting railroad tracks, either, according to his family. Apparently there's a short story or something about a guy counting railroad tracks, and it got conflated with Neal's death in people's minds. Oh well.

Dang, it's fun to do "historical research" ... too bad it has nothing to do with other stuff I need to get done today!

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-12-10 05:27:06

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Poster: cousinkix1953 Date: Dec 9, 2010 10:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (So much for a myth!)

"Escapin' through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That's when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land."

Here is the oldest recording of the second verse from a Halloween show in 1967. Must be some older ones; but no files are with the setlists.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1967-10-31.sbd.unclebarry-kikola.33933.flac16

I heard the comment about throwing water balloons at the fuzz from the horse's mouth, as did many others, who listen to a certain Grateful Dead radio show in northern California...

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Dec 10, 2010 5:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (So much for a myth!)

Aha! You're right -- it does go back farther than Jan 68! (Or February, as the RT liner notes and Bob's memory would have it.) And yet, our detective work is not complete. The notes from the 10/31/67 show say it's really a compilation of tracks from two November shows, and when I listened to them in tandem it does seem to be the 11/11 TOO (or vice versa). See what you think:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd67-11-11.sbd.sacks.1613.sbeok.shnf

So, with a little intrepid historical gumshoe work, we seem to have narrowed the writing of the Neal verse down to sometime between 10/22 and 11/11/67. When Neal was still very much alive.

So much for the Mystical Synchronicity. (Gosh, does that suggest that Mt St Helens maybe didn't really effect Fire on the Mountain, either, or vice versa? Aaaaaw.)

Of course, LiA has probably done all this research already and written an extensive article on it. And WT and CH have probably known it for the last 20 years. But hey, it's a great excuse to listen to some remarkable stuff. Those early TOOs are just mind-boggling, aren't they?





This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-12-10 13:04:33

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 10, 2010 6:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (So much for a myth!)

I didn't want to speak up for fear of suffering RLO's "anti Bobby bashing protection posting wrath"...

I think that Bob, like me and so many of us, has a tendency to over-state and perhaps even exaggerate events of this sort, and in the re-telling, the myth becomes the reality. EG, I think he thinks the Yellow Dog story became funny rather than a lame time filler in which Pig was about to hit him upside the head if he didn't stop talking...

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Dec 10, 2010 8:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (So much for a myth!)

Actually, I haven't written an extensive article on this issue. (Yet.)
But it's not the first time I've found where the band's memories are misleading.... Like all of us, they tend to link things in their memories & find patterns that weren't there. But anyway.
Your hours of research on this issue could have been spared, by the way, by checking deadlists.com - they transcribed the lyrics to the Other One on 10/22/67, 11/10-11/67, 1/22-23/68, and 2/2-3/68.

And the Archive 10/31/67 is indeed (as it says) a fake compilation from the Nov Shrine shows.
And I wouldn't read anything into the one 10/22/67 file being non-streamable. (Although it sure would be nice if there were some fall '67 box set coming up...)
It's just a technical glitch that's happened to lots of early shows; we had some discussion about that a while ago regarding the 'dead' Shrine show.... Presumably someone has to contact Archive admins about the non-playing shows & they'll be fixed.

All that aside....I don't find these early Other Ones that mind-boggling! (And 10/22/67 is a typical show by '67 standards.) Rather, like early-'68 Dark Stars, to me they're just a short framework that would later be filled out in more interesting ways... The Other One does have quite a growth curve, going from half-hour versions in '72/73 back to five-minute versions in the '80s...
What I find interesting is that, for years, the Other One was not meant to be heard on its own. From day one, they designed it as the middle section of the Cryptical Envelopment suite... I can't think of other instances where Weir & Garcia wrote two songs separately and then decided to join them together in one long suite...it's not like a China>Rider or Scarlet>Fire that came together over time, it was planned out.
The Cryptical reprise, I think matured a lot faster than the Other One section did - already in '67 it's way longer, and some of the best versions are in late '68 - but it also died a lot faster, as Garcia got tired of the words. So you could see Cryptical as a song where the band didn't feel the lyrics were as 'timeless' as the Other One turned out to be...

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Dec 10, 2010 9:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (So much for a myth!)

Oh dear! And it was such pain and suffering, too, to listen to a bunch of early TOOs ... :-) I do think it's amazing how great they were right out of the starting date. But hey, what can I say, my mind is easily boggled. Particularly by the 60s.

Was it the lyrics that Jerry found less interesting, or was it hard to sing? I kind of had the sense he found it hard to sing. But maybe I'm thinking of later. (In 85, it clearly WAS hard to sing for him.) Also, I'm wondering if something about the music might have seemed limiting. The tempo and really everything about CE is very specific; it might not have given them the freedom to do enough with TOO in terms of intros and outros. And you can do similar wild-electro-jamming with other songs. I don't know, just speculating randomly!




This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-12-11 05:10:22

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-12-11 05:17:17

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Dec 10, 2010 9:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (So much for a myth!)

Everything was hard for Jerry to sing in '85!

I only know Jerry said that Cryptical was dropped because it stopped being emotionally viable & he no longer liked the words. Certainly by 1970, he was already losing his enthusiasm with it, as they found new things to do with the Other One. As I mentioned with Golden Road, the Dead quickly dropped all their pre-Robert Hunter songs; so in a way it's surprising this Garcia-penned song lasted as long as it did - I think because it was musically rewarding, not musically stifling. (It certainly outlasted its brethren on Anthem, New Potato & Alligator & Caution - New Potato was a much more precise, demanding song to play - and Cryptical also outlasted most of the songs on Aoxomoxoa!)

Was it musically limiting or restrictive? I don't think so. It seems full of possibilities to me, with many ways they could vary it. But in 1970, they'd often bail out of the Cryptical reprise after only a minute, right into Cosmic Charlie....which Garcia always complained was a difficult bitch to play, and was much more limited & restrictive, but they still had affection for it nonetheless.
The band thought of their music much differently than we do. These are the guys who got tired of Viola Lee, after all. Jerry would give bizarre explanations for why they dropped various songs ("we did it to death, had nothing new to say", meanwhile playing Me & My Uncle 300 more times...) - I think Cryptical COULD have been more open, had the band chosen it. To some extent, it was kind of dissolved in the Other One and Dark Star as those jams grew more varied & extensive. And I think the band was also cutting back on that kind of jamming 'wildness', slamming really HARD on a jam the way they did in Viola and the Cryptical reprise. (And, practically speaking, it was replaced by Wharf Rat in '71.)

If you would like to be easily boggled, perhaps it's time to start your 1967 research project - it'll only take a few hours of your time - take on 6/18, 5/5, 8/4-5, 9/3-4, and 11/10-11, and see how 10/22 holds up in that lustrous company!
[P.S. They even did Lindy on 8/4/67...though sadly, it's not on any of the Archive copies.]

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Poster: Jim F Date: Dec 13, 2010 1:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (So much for a myth!)

For me, rather than focus on the how's and when's of Bobby changing up the lyrics to his section and when Cassady died, I find it far more interesting to think that the suite that would not be what it was without the life and death of Neal Cassady begins with a eulogy of sorts about how "he had to die."

Of course you could probably say that the Cryptical part wasn't really written specifically about Neal, it was more of a metaphorical take on the inevitability of evolution and change. And I believe I've read accounts that support that. I've always likened it to being about coming of age, about so many things relevant to the 60's like LSD, the hippie movement, the death of JFK, etc. Like Jerry often spoke about the term "Grateful Dead" being about the death of the ego, I kind of see Cryptical as having some kind of meaning along those lines. A song about how nothing is really meant to last, and how we are forever changed after certain experiences. I dunno, just some thoughts.

Musically, I could write for days about the Cryptical reprise, as well as the evolution of The Other One itself. The Other One really is the quintessential GD song, it really sums up a certain attitude, as well as it musically being just about the best example of the band doing what they did best, second only to Dark Star. I've always seen them as sister songs, really.

For example the way they were sortof interchangeable vehicles for jamming in 1972. Dark Star was the half-hour jam song one night, the Other One the next. They both served the same purpose, and while completely different in terms of mood and attack and such, they were sortof arranged similarly in that they followed a structure, for example intro, jam on the main theme, first verse, a spaceout, theme jam, reinstatement of the main theme, second verse, etc.

Perhaps some other time I'll add some thoughts on the Cryptical reprise and it's evolution, as well as it's odd unpredictability near it's final days in the steady repertoire. Unpredictable in that one night it might be a 1 minute interlude they quickly slip out of with little fanfare, then the next a fully explored 10 minute piece.

One thing I will briefly say is that LIA is so right about how the Cryptical reprise could have really gone to many different places had they put their mind to it. We've seen it happen with the likes of Phil and Friends and such, where it has been explored with nearly if not as much determination, containing just as much variety and gear shifts as The Other One itself. But that's for another day...

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Poster: advokat Date: Dec 9, 2010 11:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (So much for a myth!)

http://www.archive.org/post/297742/question-about-the-other-one

By the way, Carolyn Cassady attended this little event that asshole who submitted the above post put on:
http://www.henrymiller.org/OneFastMove.html

If you need her take:
http://www.nealcassadyestate.com/Neal.html#NealDeath

http://www.thebeatmuseum.org/images/collectibles/dearcarolyn.jpg




This post was modified by advokat on 2010-12-10 07:47:48

This post was modified by advokat on 2010-12-10 07:49:03

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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Dec 8, 2010 10:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (Referenced in PL/BW Interview Below)

link doesn't work, and hasn't been working for some time now, oddly enough.

this one's good though

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1967-10-22.sbd.yerys.1525.shnf

This post was modified by midnightcarousel on 2010-12-09 06:16:00

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Dec 8, 2010 10:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (Referenced in PL/BW Interview Below)

That's weird. I have a copy of it from some source or another and didn't try to preview the link before posting; thanks, MC. Hmmm, maybe we now know what will be on the bonus RT subscription thing next year ...

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-12-09 06:30:20

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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Dec 9, 2010 7:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (Referenced in PL/BW Interview Below)

Those evil bastards.

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Poster: jerrys beard Date: Dec 9, 2010 7:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (Referenced in PL/BW Interview Below)

TOO is one of my top GD songs...depending on the day and performance, perhaps #1.

Phil's intro to the song just blows me away every time. I was thinking about the lyrics as well. They really capture not just the 60s (I'm a child thereof), but the Dead of that era as well. It has a clear and concise "psychedelic" feel to it that, at least lyrically, no other song captures. The cultural references to Neal Cassady, the bus, and of course Bobby's now infamous water balloon incident all add to the enjoyment.

Musically, I enjoy it because it can be jammed out at any point during the song, depending on the band's mood. Like Dark Star, the lyrics serve as an anchor to hold the jamming together and provide some sense of structure.

Long way of saying...great choice!

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Dec 10, 2010 5:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (Referenced in PL/BW Interview Below)

Yeah, I'd have to say it's my Top Song. It's not always what I'm in the mood for, of course, and if I had to rank favorite songs (which would seem a bit artificial) there'd be an awfully long list, and performances matter too, yada yada.

But it does have a special place for me. Ideally with a CE, and New Potato Caboose and Born Cross-Eyed tossed in. (Gee, what album do you suppose I used to listen to a WHOLE LOT?!?) St Stephen would probably be my "second favorite." If push came to shove.

Still, I'd never actually looked into the earliest versions on the archives. So this is a fun little ... um, research project. (Does that make it sound dignified enough?)

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Poster: boltman Date: Dec 10, 2010 5:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: First TOO (Referenced in PL/BW Interview Below)

Great thread! It always sounds better to me with the Cryptical "sandwich". The songs work together very well and CE adds an odd vibe to the performance with some fascinating lyrics.